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171 U.S. 604



No. 181. Argued February 25, 28, 1898. -- October 24, 1898, Decided


The Traders' Live Stock Exchange was an unincorporated association in Kansas City, whose members bore much the same relation to it, and through it carried on much the same business as that carried on by the members of the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange, considered and passed upon in Hopkins v. United States, just decided. The main difference was, that the members of the Traders' Exchange, defendants in the present proceedings, were themselves purchasers of cattle on the market, while the defendants in the former case were commission merchants who sold cattle upon commission as a compensation for their service. The articles of association of the Traders' Exchange contained the following preamble: "We, the undersigned, for the purpose of organizing and maintaining a business exchange, not for pecuniary profit or gain, but to promote and protect all interests connected with the buying and selling of live stock at the Kansas City Stock Yards, and to cultivate courteous and manly conduct towards each other, and give dignity and responsibility to yard traders, have associated ourselves together under the name of Traders' Live Stock Exchange, and hereby agree, each with the other, that we will faithfully observe and be bound by the following rules and by-laws and such new rules, additions or amendments as may from time to time be adopted in conformity with the provisions thereof from the date of organization." The rules objected to in the bill in this case were the following: "Rule 10. This exchange will not recognize any yard trader unless he is a member of the Traders' Live Stock Exchange. Rule 11. When there are two or more parties trading together as partners, they shall each and all of them be members of this exchange. Rule 12. No member of this exchange shall employ any person to buy or sell cattle unless such person hold a certificate of membership in this exchange. Rule 13.No member of this exchange shall be allowed to pay any order buyer or salesman any sum of money as a fee for buying cattle from or selling cattle to such party."


(1) That this court is not called upon to decide whether the defendants are or are not engaged in interstate commerce, because if it be conceded they are so engaged, the agreement as evidenced by the by-laws is not one in restraint of that trade, nor is there any combination to monopolize or attempt to monopolize such trade within the meaning of the act;

(2) That, following the preceding case, in order to come within the provisions of the statute the direct effect of an agreement or combination must be in restraint of that trade or commerce which is among the several States, or with foreign nations;

(3) That where the subject-matter of the agreement does not directly relate to and act upon and embrace interstate commerce, and where the undisputed facts clearly show that the purpose of the agreement was not to regulate, obstruct or restrain that commerce, but that it was entered into with the object of properly and fairly regulating the transaction of the business in which the parties to the agreement were engaged, such agreement will be upheld as not within the statute, where it can be seen that the character and terms of the agreement are well calculated to attain the purpose for which it was formed, and where the effect of its formation and enforcement upon interstate trade or commerce is in any event but indirect and incidental, and not its purpose or object;

(4) That the rules are evidently of a character to enforce the purpose and object of the exchange as set forth in the preamble, and that for such purpose they are reasonable and fair, and that they can possibly affect interstate trade or commerce in but a remote way, and are not void as violations of the act of Congress.

MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

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